Scottish Queer International Film Festival announces 2018 programme

The full programme has been announced for the fourth annual Scottish Queer International Film Festival, taking place at venues across Glasgow including CCA, GFT, The Art School and Kinning Park Complex, from 5 - 9 December 2018.

Talk at SQIFF 2017

SQIFF 2018 will open on Wednesday 5 December at Glasgow Film Theatre with an exciting and boundary-pushing night of contemporary LGBTQ+ shorts from around the world, all seen in Scotland for the first time.

Entertaining and enlightening in equal measure...

"The festival is an incredibly important voice within the Scottish film sector, and is leading the way with regards to equalities, diversity and inclusion. With another vibrant and wide-ranging programme for 2018, SQIFF continues to entertain and enlighten in equal measure, and audiences can look forward to another exciting festival this December.”

Sean Greenhorn
Screen Officer, Screen Scotland

Headlining is VISIBLE, created by Campbell X and Kayza Rose, who explore QTIPOC (queer trans intersex people of colour) histories, challenging mainstream perceptions and sanitisation of legacies, and celebrating complexity, multiplicity, myths, gossip, and legends.

The festival will close on Sunday 9 December with the Scottish premiere of lesbian rom-com White Rabbit, following recently-single LA performance artist who repeatedly encounters a strange woman as she takes on odd jobs via TaskRabbit.

White Rabbit

Other highlights across the five day festival include:

  • A focus on Queer Arab Lives curated by Samar Ziadat in partnership with Dardishi, a zine and Festival of Arab womxn’s art.
  • Gay As In Hysterically Funny, a selection of shorts examining what it means to make fun of yourself as an LGBTQ+ person, featuring a chat on queerness and comedy with stand-up Rosie Jones.
  • An East Asian Focus including Taiwanese feature Alifu the Prince/ess,  about a trans woman in the indigenous Paiwan community who must come out to her father and The Story of the Stone, a queering of a tale from classical Chinese literature, thoroughly modernised and set in the midst of Taipei’s 21st century gay community.
  • Madeleine Olnek’s raucous take on a period comedy Wild Nights With Emily, featuring SNL alumni Molly Shannon as 19th century poet Emily Dickinson indulging in debauched lesbian romping and sticking it firmly to the patriarchy.

Wild Nights With Emily - photo Anna Stypko

  • Real queer stories from around the world with a host of feature documentaries, from drag queens and evangelical Christians working together in the American Deep South in The Gospel of Eureka to the rich cultural history and high social standing of trans woman - known as leitis- in Tonga in Leitis in Waiting.
  • Berlin-based queer porn legend Bishop Black introducing a personal selection of his groundbreaking work, in association with Glasgow’s premier sex boutique Luke & Jack.
  • The much-loved gay classic The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy and her friends are re-viewed as an allegory for asexuality.
  • Scottish filmmaker and vlogger Ross Wilcock presenting short films building on his own video for BBC The Social Online Dating with a Disability, exploring anxiety around dating and claiming Queer and Disabled as an identity.
  • Queer The Screen - A sneak preview event of the new anthology We Were Always Here, published by Queer Words Project Scotland, in February 2019 featuring live readings and literary shorts.
  • A range of inclusive, participatory workshops, from Is My Vagina Normal?, facilitated by Florence Schechter from London’s new Vagina Museum to a look at Telling Trans Stories led by award-winning filmmaker Jason Barker (who’s deeply personal documentary about his journey to pregnancy as a trans man A Deal With The Universe will also have its Scottish premiere at the Festival).

A Deal with the Universe

  • Homegrown talent in the return of the ever-popular Queer Scotland night of short films, showcasing the exciting range of work by and about LGBTQ+ communities in our (un)fair land
  • A chance to experience queer Virtual Reality Projects at the SQIFF VR station and explore the possibilities of LGBTQ+ storytelling of this exciting new medium

Tickets to all events are on sale now and are priced on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale of £0-£8 based on individual circumstances. Audience members choose what they are able to pay – we don't ask for any proof of circumstances, we just ask that they are honest.

In order to make the Festival further accessible to more people, all films will be screened with English language captions for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing access with BSL interpretation and audio description available at select events.

As a teaser to the main festival, SQIFF will be on tour throughout November, taking the best in queer cinema to some of our favourite Scottish screens - from a showing of the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman at An Lanntair in Stornoway to the smash-hit Kenyan lesbian drama Rafiki visiting Edinburgh and Dundee.

SQIFF 2018 is funded by the National Lottery through Screen Scotland with opening and closing events sponsored by Merchant City Brewing Company.

The SQIFF Team said: "We are really happy to be focusing more than ever on representing voices marginalised within film culture at this year's Festival. We are considering queer D/deaf and disabled representation and access with several events including a discussion on combining access and aesthetics with EJ Raymond, Caglar Kimyoncu, and Collective Text, and a Deaf Perspectives shorts programme.

"We also have a strand on Queer Arab Lives in partnership with Dardishi magazine, and an East Asian Focus with LGBTQ+ films from China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. We are thinking about lesbian aesthetics with a screening of new doc Dykes, Camera, Action! with a special introduction from poet, critic, and activist So Mayer.

Dykes Camera Action at SQIFF 2018

Furthering our big aim of promoting queer filmmaking in Scotland, we also have more homemade content than ever before with screenings of Rosana Cade's Walking:Holding and Natasha Lall's Pink Excavation alongside our annual showcase of Scottish shorts.

"Our efforts to make the Festival accessible to more people are increasing this year with a quiet space available at our main venue the CCA and a travel fund open to any audience member who couldn't otherwise afford to come along. After its success last year, we will again be offering a sliding scale ticket price with people choosing what to pay between free and £8."

Sean Greenhorn, Screen Officer at Screen Scotland said: “The festival is an incredibly important voice within the Scottish film sector, and is leading the way with regards to equalities, diversity and inclusion. With another vibrant and wide-ranging programme for 2018, SQIFF continues to entertain and enlighten in equal measure, and audiences can look forward to another exciting festival this December.”

Notes to Editors

Media Details

For images, interviews and press passes please contact Ruth Marsh on / 07824468396


SQIFF (Scottish Queer International Film Festival) was formed with the aim of adding to the exciting and growing amount of queer film stuff happening around Scotland. Since 2015, we have held an annual festival in Glasgow alongside providing year round events across various locations. Our goal is to get people watching, talking about, and making more queer films. We want to screen movies that people might not otherwise get a chance to see and to create inspiring and informative events alongside challenging inequality and barriers to accessing the arts.

About Screen Scotland

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland.  With £20 million from Scottish Government and the National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support.  Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success.